More Londoners moving to north
NORTHERN regions like Greater Manchester have traditionally been concerned about a brain drain to London - but new figures reveal record numbers of Londoners are moving here.
Exclusive analysis, conducted by Reach PLC’s Data Unit, can reveal that growing numbers of people are shunning the capital to live in our region.
A whopping 10,200 people left London to move to Greater Manchester last year - while 8,870 people moved from Greater Manchester to London.
It means London suffered a net loss of 1,330 people to Greater Manchester - or more than three a day. It’s an impressive feat when you consider that Greater Manchester is around 210 miles away from the capital.
That’s the highest loss to Greater Manchester that London has suffered in at least five years, according to new data from the Office for National Statistics.
Salford had the highest net gain of people from London in Greater Manchester, with 380 more people moving from London to the area than went the other way.
Stockport had a net gain of 210 Londoners, and Rochdale had a gain of 180. Despite this - Manchester as a city itself, does suffer a net loss of people to London. Some 4,710 people moved to London from the Manchester city council area, while 100 more (4,810) moved from Manchester to London.
One possible explanation for the loss is that graduates might think London has better career opportunities.
Alexandra Rucki and her friends are among the numbers who have moved to Manchester from the capital in recent years. She had left the region for London in 2011, before heading back.
The 29-year-old M.E.N. reporter said: “I moved back to Manchester three years ago. Over the past two years, friends who are actually born and bred Londoners have followed suit and are living up here. At first I loved living in London and the social life that came with it, but the drain on my finances meant I didn’t get to take full advantage.
“In London I lived in the living room of a two bed flat in Zone 3, converted to three, with two other girls. It was tiny and really noisy.
“For the same amount of rent I now live in a city centre flat, it’s still a novelty to be able to live so close to the centre. I had to catch a train and two tubes for the seven mile journey to my office, spending £40 a week to top up my Oyster card.
“Now I have just a 20 minute drive from home. It was a struggle to save any money, but now I can afford to have a car and go on holidays. I think people are becoming aware it is no longer necessary to build your career in the capital, there are many opportunities for graduates in Manchester.”
One key reason why more people moving to Greater Manchester from London than the other way round could be house prices, which remain substantially cheaper up here.
The average home costs £155,868 in the North West of England - some 67.8 per cent cheaper than the average £484,584 it costs to buy a home in London.
Overall London is hemorrhaging more people than ever, suffering a net loss of 106,620 people to other parts of the UK in 2017.
Some 225,690 people moved to the capital while 332,310 left. That’s a huge increase from the net loss of 50,670 people some five years earlier in 2012.
Stephen Clarke, senior economic analyst for Resolution Foundation, a living standards think tank, said: “London is a net exporter of people to the rest of the UK. This is likely due to high housing costs with figures suggesting that people are leaving London when they have children and want to put down roots, a struggle given property prices in the capital.
“London needs to get a handle on its high housing costs if its ‘living standards exodus’ is to be stopped.”